Thousand yard marker

Detroit running back Kevin Jones has accomplished a feat that only three other Lions' backs have ever done. A strong finish has suddenly linked his name to some all-time greats.

Detroit Lions rookie running back Kevin Jones, a late first-round pick from Virginia Tech, has pushed his season rushing total to 1,061 yards, including four 100-yard efforts in the last six games - 100 against Minnesota, 196 against Arizona, 156 against Green Bay and 123 in the Lions' 19-13 victory over Chicago on Sunday.

With one game left on the schedule - Sunday at Tennessee - Jones is averaging 4.8 yards per carry, a number held down by his slow start due to an ankle sprain that limited his playing time and effectiveness in the early part of the season.

"Things are slowing down for me now," said Jones. "And I'm just trying to get better each week."

Although Jones had an unimpressive workout for NFL scouts before the draft last spring, Lions president Matt Millen said he never doubted Jones' ability to succeed in the NFL and Millen's appraisal has proved correct.

Jones has better than adequate speed and has the power to push three or four defenders down the field, as he did for the final 8-10 yards of a 33-yard run against the Bears.

With his 1,061 yards for the season, Jones became the third Lions rookie running back to clear the 1,000-yard mark, putting him in the company of former Lions greats Billy Sims and Barry Sanders.

"It's a great honor," Jones said. "They're the two best I ever saw."


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